Welcome to July 2nd, the day when International Free Agents are free to start signing with major league organizations. This is a key period for any organization, particularly one that is rebuilding, but it is important not to overstate the importance. The players the Cubs will sign today and in the coming days are not going to show up in Wrigley any time soon.
They aren’t going to show up in United States for another year or two, most likely.
And they aren’t likely to have an immediate impact on any top prospect lists or organizational rankings. Most of these players would still be in high school on this side of the border; it will be awhile before we really know what the Cubs have with any of them.
That said, the Cubs have been connected to some of the biggest and brightest names of the class (including Eloy Jiminez and Gleyber Torres). It could be an exciting period should the Cubs manage to land either of those talents. There is a very real chance that the Cubs could be on the verge of signing someone who could one sit at or near the top of their prospect rankings. That is a very good thing, and not something every team can claim.
The best place to keep track of all the Cubs’ Signing Day related happenings is, of course, right here at Bleacher Nation. For the best coverage of the baseball-wide scene, you might keep an eye on Baseball America.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa - Scoring four runs in the eighth? Good. Scoring four in the eighth to beat the Redbirds 4-2? Awesome.
Tennessee - The Smokies staged a late inning rally of their own, but it was too little and too late. They lost 7-2.
Daytona - The Cubs were once again rained out.
Kane County - The Cougars had an early lead but could not hang on. They lost 4-3.
Boise - Boise scored one in the ninth to pull out a 3-2 road win.
Arizona - Thanks to two big innings, the AZL Cubs won this one 10-6.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Barret Loux struck out 6 over 5 innings for Iowa, and allowed just 2 hits and 3 walks.
- [Iowa] Brian Schlitter stuck out 2 in the ninth for his eighth save.
- [Iowa] Infielder/outfielder Anthony Giansanti doubled and drove home two in his first career Triple A game.
- [Tennessee] Matt Szczur doubled as part of a 2 for 5 day. His OPS over the last ten games is an even .900.
- [Tennessee] The pitching for the Smokies was not great in this game, but Hunter Cervenka did have a scoreless inning to end things.
- [Kane County] Albert Almora doubled and finished with two hits. Marco Hernandez also had a two hit day.
- [Kane County] Meanwhile Kevin Encarnacion tacked his first triple onto his Low A resume.
- [Kane County] This has not been a great season for Jose Rosario, but he was effective in this game. He only struck out 2, but he limited the damage to 3 runs on 6 hits over 7 innings.
- [Boise] Jacob Hannemann returned to the lineup and collected another two hits. Second baseman Daniel Lockhart finished with three hits.
- [Boise] Starting pitcher James Pugliese allowed just one run on 5 hits over 6 innings for Boise, but he only struck out one. Matt Iannazzo stuck out two as he nailed down his second save.
- [Arizona] Second baseman Francisco Sanchez tripled and finished with two hits.
- [Arizona] Dayan Diaz came on in relief and stuck out 3 over 2 two innings of work. Anthony Prieto pitched the next three innings and also struck out three. Neither pitcher allowed a run.
- With all the talk surrounding a trade of catcher Steve Clevenger, some may wonder who would then become the backup to the backup catcher for the Cubs. Don’t forget that J.C. Boscan is also in the system and has been quietly laboring in Iowa. That said, his line is nothing to get excited about. In fact, an OPS of .639 is pretty mediocre for the Pacific Coast League. As we all know all to well, though, a backup catcher does not need to hit to have some utility to a franchise. If the Cubs lose a catcher to trade or injury, Boscan is waiting in the wings.
- Yasiel Balaguert was named Player of the Week in the Northwest League. His three homer week was enough to clinch the honor for the Hawk’s right fielder.
- There were two great articles on Bleacher Nation yesterday that every Cub fan should read. First was the awesome connection between Bleacher Nation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Brett’s annual tendency to go extended periods without sleep. If Bleacher Nation can raise $12,000 to support the wish of a young Cub fan then we get to enjoy Brett’s sleep deprived loss of sanity for 36 straight hours at the trade deadline. Absolutely no one loses in this arrangement … except possibly The Wife.
- The second piece of greatness to show up yesterday was Brett’s write up of his chat with prospect guru Jason Parks. If you want to go about the rest of your day with a smile on your face, just read Parks’ comments on Almora. It makes for some great, great reading for any Cubs fan.